Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

As the press release sharks swim around our heels on the opening of GDC, one of them has gone in for a testing nip. Battle Breakers [official site] is an upcoming tactical RPG, Epic Games have announced. It s done in the flavour of Saturday morning sci-fi cartoons of the 80s, they say – a turn-based battler about taking back your Kingdom from space monsters. It is as ugly as a mauled bottom. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

Every Monday we send Brendan to scout the early access ruins for hidden treasures. This week, the careful Viking tactics of Northgard [official site]

This is Blainn, below. He s just killed a Wyvern. He’s my best mate because I gave him and his giant pals, the J tunn, enough food to last a lifetime. They reckon we in the Goat clan are excellent humans and now Chief Blainn is fighting alongside us in our hoofed conquest of the whole land. This is one endgame that comes in Northgard, a rock-solid RTS about allocating and reallocating your Viking workforce in just the right way. Technically this match ended over an hour ago, when my opponent reached a wisdom victory . But it s a testament to Northgard s foundations that, when given the option to leave or continue following my defeat, I happily clicked keep playing . … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

A new expansion for card-thirsty players of Hearthstone [official site] has been announced, bringing with it splurging volcanoes that deal random damage, elemental fire birds that resurrect themselves stronger than before, and dinosaurs that can adapt as a game goes on. There s going to be 135 new cards but most interesting for Hearthstoners (I m guessing!) is the new Quest card type, which let s you setup a goal during the match and rewards you with a powerful card if you manage to complete it. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Denis Ryan)

Total War: Warhammer is good at presenting complex information in battles. Your unit of spearmen will tell you when they re attacked from behind and their banner will flash when they re about to retreat. Your general glows, and he or she is often comically large compared to regular soldiers. Arrows, cannonballs and spells have brightly coloured trails so you can tell what s about to hit you.

Outside of battles though, TW: Warhammer has trouble presenting basic information. In particular, the game s campaign map is a mess which is difficult to parse and frustrating to use. In battles, Creative Assembly make good use of visual shorthand so can you extract relevant information at a glance. The campaign map, meanwhile, is so visually busy that basic information like where your armies are and how far they can move is obscure.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

One game I’ve overlooked in the eternal crusade to remake or remaster every game released prior to 2014 is Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap [official site], a remake of a Sega Master System platformer from 1989. It’s a game fondly remembered, I’m told, though I wouldn’t know as my Master System experiences were five minutes round a friend’s house getting bored playing After Burner. Anyway! The Dragon’s Trap comes to my attention now through a trailer showing off switching on the fly between its original art and the hand-drawn new style. Observe: … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Taking a break from their usual obsessions of spaceships and zapbeams, EVE Online developers CCP have announced a full-body virtual reality futuresport. Sparc [official site] looks a bit like Tron’s murderfrisbee or two-ball Pong, plopping two players in a corridor to fling deathdiscs with one hand and shield with the other while moving their body to dodge discs. CCO say Sparc is their first game outside the EVE universe but it still looks all futuristic and cyber-y to me. Here, watch the announcement trailer, which CCP seem to have accidentally cut into a cologne commercial: … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

At one point I was sure I was going to write about how much I disliked Night In The Woods [official site]. At a later point I realised I was going to write about how much I loved Night In The Woods. I think there s a lot to know about Night In The Woods from that. It is both extraordinary and wanting, fantastic and frustrating. It s a story you click through, yet features platform-based dream sequences. It s defiantly linear, yet seems to offer moments of enormous choice. It s perplexing, wide-ranging, specifically brilliant and specifically half-baked. The writing is sharp and intriguing, yet mono-voiced and peculiar. It s a visual novel, but it s a platform game, but it s an adventure, but it s something else entirely. I m pretty sure I love it at this point. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

What hope is there for someone who’s done terrible, callous things to gain success? I’m asking for a friend. Also in relation to Distraint 2 [official site], a follow-up to 2015’s side-scrolling psychological horror game about a chap securing a company partnership by turfing an elderly woman out her home. Creator Jesse Makkonen recently announced it for release around Halloween this year, describing it as “Silent Hill + Zelda + Monkey Island”. Here, have a watch: … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Rick Lane)

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>

Call of Duty 2 [official site] tends to get forgotten about, sandwiched as it is between the huge success of Call of Duty and the truly gargantuan success of Call of Duty 4 (we don t talk about Call of Duty 3 here in PC town). This is an unfortunate state of affairs, as it might just be the best game in the series. … [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

The first proper expansion for Stellaris [official site] will launch on April 6th, Paradox announced today. Utopia adds shiny futuristic features like buildable Dyson spheres, ring worlds, and habitat stations (very utopian), psionic, biological, and mechanical ‘Ascension’ paths (also utopian), and a variety of new ways to oppress and enslave other races (very… Omelasian). Well, utopias are always meant to be rhetorical, aren’t they? While Utopia is a paid expansion, the big update ‘Banks’ will launch for free alongside it with a load of handy new features. … [visit site to read more]

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